Thursday, June 30, 2022

The First Tunisian Flavors Festival in Amsterdam

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Diplomat Magazine
Diplomat Magazinehttp://www.diplomatmagazine.eu
DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands. Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. "Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions." Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher

By Roy Lie Atjam

LEO’s Food Festivals, the motto is, share authentic flavours from around the world. This is the First Tunisian Flavors Festival in Amsterdam, the venue was Leonardo Royal  Hotel on 24th March 2022.

Hundreds of persons came by to savour the haute Tunisian cuisine and wines. The “Vitruv Restaurant” was bustling, friends of Tunisia and others came to the inaugural evening of the  Flavors Festival.

Many of  Ambassador Slim Ghariani’s colleagues attended the Food Festival, including the Ambassador of Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Yemen, Rwanda, Panama, Cuba, Korea, Cameroon, Palestine to mention a few. Also present, Diplomats from the Embassy of Belarus, USA, Senegal and others.

Organizers of the event are the Embassy of Tunisia, Diplomat Magazine and Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam. The Tunisian Flavors served as a curtain-raiser for the various countries in the upcoming Food Festivals editions.

Tunisian cuisine seems to be less explored in the Netherlands. With that in mind, the Tunisian Flavors event is where one can delve into Tunisia’s authentic cuisine.

Tunisian Chef Wafik Belaid.

The Embassy has selected celebrity Chefs Wafik Belaid, Mohamed Ali  Abouda and Hykel Ben Zaida, to develop a special five-course menu of authentic flavours.

People tend to compare new foods to food items they have eaten before however Tunisian flavours leave you analogy less, it is beyond compare!

The inaugural remarks by the Ambassador of Tunisia H.E. Mr. Slim Ghariani

“It gives me an immense pleasure to welcome you all to the 2022 Edition of the Tunisian Gastronomic Days, jointly organized by the Embassy of Tunisia in The Hague, the Tunisian National Tourism Office Representation in The Netherlands, Diplomatic Magazine, and the Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam. I would like to express to all our partners my high appreciation and my sincere thanks for their tireless efforts and valuable contribution to the accomplishment of this special culinary and artistic event.

H.E. Mrs. Rawan Suliaman, Head of Palestinian Mission and H.E. Ms Sahar Ghanem, Ambassador of Yemen.
His Excellency Mr Yeondoo Jeong, Ambassador of Korea and the Ambassador off Tunisia, H.E. Mr. Slim Ghariani.

I would also like to extend my thanks to our three famous Chefs who will be preparing special Tunisian dishes during this event, and the gracious Band “Club Elle” who will embellish our exceptional evening, with traditional and classic Tunisian music, in a festive and joyful atmosphere, as well as to our sponsors who generously supported our Endeavour and enriched our set of prizes for the tombola you will be taking part to later.

Following the success of the previous editions in The Hague, we decided, at the proposal of our partners, to celebrate this year’s gastronomic days in Amsterdam. The main goal is to promote Tunisia as a touristic destination and showcase our cuisine to the residents of the prestigious capital of the Kingdom.

As you may have noticed, the tables are named after some of the most beautiful cities in Tunisia, of which a short presentation can be found on the postcard. If you have not been to Tunisia before, we hope this occasion arouses your curiosity to visit our rich cultural patrimony and historical heritage.

Tunisian Flavors.

May I recall in this context, that Tunisia is totally ready to welcome back tourists from all over the world, especially after the substantial improvement of the sanitary situation related to the corona virus pandemic. The Government has indeed launched, since June 2020, a National Tourism Health Protocol, labeled “Ready and safe”, in line with the World Health Organization guidelines. The vaccination program covered 100% of hotel and tourism staff and around 60% of the total population is completely vaccinated. The entry requirements for travellers were considerably alleviated as of February 15, 2022.

In 2019, Tunisia welcomed about 9.5 million visitors, hailing from the four corners of the globe, eager to explore the diversity of its touristic product and the richness of its cultural heritage. We hope to bring back over 80,000 Dutch tourists per year, a record number in 2019, especially that the resumption of TUI Netherlands’ flights to Tunisia is planned for next month.

Tunisian Flavors.

Thus, I would like to seize this opportunity to publicly express our thanks to the Dutch authorities for last month’s review of the travel advice to Tunisia, allowing the resumption of tourist flows to our country. Similarly, many other European countries had classified Tunisia in the green list of countries with low coronavirus risks.

I avail myself of this very opportunity, to express our appreciation for the Dutch support to the democratic transition and the national economy in Tunisia since the revolution in 2011. We also greatly appreciate the Dutch assistance provided to our country in order to tackle the coronavirus crisis.”

H.E. Ms. Elizabeth Ward Neiman, Ambassador of Panama, H.E. Mr. Riaz Hamidullah, Ambassador of Bangladesh, H.E. Mr. Olivier Jean Patrick Nduhungirehe, Ambassador of Rwanda and H.E. Mr. Suljuk Mustansar Tarar, Ambassador of Pakistan.
Dr Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) and the Ambassador of Egypt, Mr Hatem Elsayed Mohamed Kamaleldin.

A breakdown of the program, other speakers were: Mr. Mohamed Attia, Director of the Tunisian Tourism Bureau in the Netherlands, he remarked, to present a more varied tourism offer, cultural tourism, wellbeing tourism, Sahara tourism and culinary tourism. These items are increasingly in demand. Dr Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher of Diplomat Magazine, is elated to see the food festivals has landed in Amsterdam also. Mr Eric-Jan Bausch, General Manager of Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam, LEO’s Food Festivals, the motto is: share authentic flavours from around the world. Chef Wafik Belaid, warmly introduced the 5-courses menu.

Tunisian wines.

Before the dinner, guests were treated to tasty Tunisian hors-d’oeuvres and an opportunity to try artisanal fragranced oils and a display of Tunisian condiments.

The mouthwatering five courses meal consisted of Cold starters, Tunisian salads: apple & mint, octopus salad, green pepper salad “michouia”. The main course number 1: couscous with seabass fish. Main course number 2: lamb cooked in a clay pot. The dessert, Trio assida: pistachio, hazelnut, zgougou, tea with pinon. Drinks coffee, tea, soft drinks, Tunisian wines, beer.

Dr Christophe Bernasconi, Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) and H.E. Dr. Dren Doli, Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo with their spouses.

The 3,4 and 5th tombola prizes were artistic wool board ornaments. However, the 6th tombola Prize was a roundtrip flight Brussels/Tunis/Brussels, offered by the national carrier TUNISAIR.

The final tombola prize was a seven days trip to a four-star Tunis hotel, offered by TUI Tour operator.

What a sublime evening, all the guests left Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam in high spirit. Tunisian trinkets were offered as a token of appreciation.

Tunisian female band “Club Elle”.

Further on the program, live music by the Tunisian female band “Club Elle” animated the evening with their traditional music. A performance by the REMIX Girls Band followed. Next was the drawing of Tombola prizes, the first and second draw resulted in Sejnane dolls.

REMIX Girls Band. Photography by August Zeidman.

The 3,4 and 5th tombola prizes were artistic wool board ornaments. However, the 6th tombola Prize was a roundtrip flight Brussels/Tunis/Brussels, offered by the national carrier TUNISAIR.

The final tombola prize was a seven days trip to a four-star Tunis hotel, offered by TUI Tour operator.

What a sublime evening, all the guests left Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam in high spirit. Tunisian trinkets were offered as a token of appreciation.

One of the winners of the splendid Tunisian Flavours’ opening night. Photography by August Zeidman.
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